By Andrew Haubner

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento’s streets are open to cruising again after the city council repealed the 39-year-old ordinance Tuesday night signaling a new era for lowriders and car enthusiasts.

SacraLocos Car Club Vice President Running Bear Salazar feels good about the future.

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“To see the city make the effort to open things up to let us do what we do,” he says. “It’s amazing and I’m looking forward to not feeling like I’m doing something illegal when I’m just driving up and down the street.”

But cruising still carries an inherent risk. The cars are not, by definition, street legal.

“There’s always this worry and stigmata that we’re doing something illegal.”

California vehicle code prohibits modifications like hydraulics which can carry a fine or even lead to a vehicle being impounded. Recent cruises in Southern California were met with concerns from local law enforcement agencies over the presence of multiple vehicles that broke vehicle code. Sacramento police say such a scenario, in which cruises are legal but the cars involved aren’t, is a hypothetical right now.

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Salazar says the risk is something every low rider is aware of.

“We know that that might happen and we know that that’s a possibility and I think as long as that open dialogue keeps happening I don’t see any repercussions behind that.”

Salazar says his interactions with law enforcement have been largely positive in recent years and that communication between agencies and car clubs has been, for the most part, constructive.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinburg wants the repeal to come along with tougher laws on sideshows and other dangerous driving situations. Lowrider clubs across the area have also distanced themselves from sideshow events.

Salazar doesn’t believe code enforcement will increase now that the ban has been lifted. Instead, he’s focused on what the repeal means for lowriding culture.

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“It was great to see everyone have that celebration, have that win, and it was great for our community,” Salazar explains. “It allows our children to understand we’re not doing anything wrong by driving this car. We are Sacramento.”

Andrew Haubner